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Sea-Tac Airport becomes first in the U.S. to achieve Salmon-Safe Certification

Habitat survey at Miller CreekIn 2016, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport became the first U.S. airport to achieve Salmon-Safe certification, earned for its environmental practices that protect Puget Sound water quality and salmon habitat.

The designation means that Sea-Tac passed Salmon-Safe’s comprehensive third-party evaluation of the airport’s land and water management practices, is adopting practices that go above and beyond regulatory requirements, and is committing to further reducing its environmental impact over time. Sea-Tac joins Vancouver International Airport in receiving this award.

The airport certifications mark Salmon-Safe’s growth into industrial properties and large infrastructure projects, expanding from its 15 years of work with farm and urban landowners. Salmon-Safe currently certifies more than 800 urban and rural sites in Oregon Washington and British Columbia, representing 80,000 acres. Read more here.

The Green Gateway connecting you to the world via Sea-Tac Airport and through global trade

We are the Green Gateway. We offer the lowest carbon footprint for cargo shipped from Asia by sea and transported by rail through the Port of Seattle to the rest of the country.

Just as importantly, the Green Gateway stands for our environmental leadership and award-winning environmental efforts at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Every year we recognize airline, tenant, and business partner environmental stewardship efforts at Sea-Tac Airport and the critical role their accomplishments play in becoming the "Green Gateway." Click here to read about this year's award winners.

We also award cruise and container customers whose environmental programs and initiatives exceed regulatory requirements.​ Read more here.

< View this short video for an overview of our environmental programs at both the Port of Seattle maritime operations and Sea-Tac Airport.

Sea-Tac Airport Progress Reports

We share outcomes with the communities we serve through annual progress reports. The 2014 Progress Report includes five-year results based on the 2009 Environmental Strategy Plan (see right column for all reports and the strategy).

In 2014 we achieved a number of our 2009 goals. For example, we:


  • Reduced water consumption 5 percent below 2008 levels
  • Achieved Best Management Prectices for water quality and treatment over 100 percent of airport industrial services
  • Introduced best management practices to reduce construction waste
  • Partnered with business operators to promote clean taxis and build infrastructure to reduce aircraft-related emissions.
Sea-Tac Airport also made progress in the following areas during 2014 when we:
  • Reduced our green house gases by more than 1,500 tons
  • Fueled our bus fleet with renewable natural gas
  • Increased our recycling rate from 23 percent to 31 percent
  • Increased the numnber of projects seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
  • Increased meal donations from 8,000 pounds to over 26,000 pounds or 500 meals per week

25-year Environmental Goals

Adopted in 2011 by the Port of Seattle Commission, the following policies are aimed at being a leader among U.S. ports for environmental stewardship and energy efficiency:
  • Reduce air pollutant emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels.
  • Lead our industry's greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategies by reducing carbon emissions from all port operations by 50 percent from 2005 levels and reducing aircraft-related GHG emissions at Sea-Tac by 25 percent.
  • Meet future growth in energy usage through conservation and renewable sources.
  • Restore, create, and enhance 40 additional acres of habitat in the Green/Duwamish watershed and Elliott Bay.
  • Prevent sprawl in less developed areas of Puget Sound by anchoring our region's urban industrial land use.
  • Ensure all stormwater leaving port operated facilities meets or exceeds agency requirements and create partnerships that lead our industry in stormwater quality improvements.

Both maritime and aviation programs are guided by our commitment to the 25-year goals. We also seek to model sustainable growth, achieve the greatest environmental benefit from our efforts, partner with other organizations in order to leverage financial and professional resources, to see our sustainable practices as a competitive advantage, and to share our environmental outcomes with the community we serve.

What is the Green Gateway?
Learn more about Sea Cargo and the Green Gateway.